A few months ago, after years of on-and-off yoga classes, I realized I needed a break in my day to, not only get some exercise, but also clear my head and find some inspiration. I then came across a YouTube channel called Yoga with Adriene and it’s been a daily practice since, something I’ve hardly ever been able to maintain before. From it, I realized there are quite a few simple but essential life lessons emerging from the mat. Here’s what I’ve learned from my daily practice.
12 Life Lessons I’ve Picked Up from Practicing Yoga
- Breathe through it: Sometimes taking a deep breath in and letting it all out is the only thing you can do. And sometimes doing just that can bring incredible clarity. Don’t underestimate the simplicity of taking a moment to gain peace and perspective.
- Leaning into it is better than fighting it: Sometimes leaning into the situation can be more helpful than fighting it. Work through it, not against it.
- If it hurts, don’t do it: Really as simple as that. There’s no need to continue torturing ourselves with things we know aren’t good for us. If it doesn’t feel good, chances are it’s really not good for you. To quote Adriene, “Find what feels good.” Yep.
- Channel your inner warrior: We all have one. Sometimes you just need to look within and channel your inner badass.
- You’re stronger than you think: No, really. Life will test and challenge you sometimes to remind you of that.
- You can probably do more than you think: See above. You’ll be surprised sometimes to see how capable you really are if you just allow yourself to test your perceived limits.
- Even 20 minutes to yourself can change your whole outlook: Giving yourself at least 20 minutes every day where you have nothing to do but sit and breathe can be downright magical. At the very least, soothing and recharging.
- Find some space: Give yourself the space you need to do what you need to do, to focus on the task at hand, to follow your path. Whatever the case, we all need some space to just do our thing.
- Focus: Drown out the noise, look within, and just focus. Forget the chatter. Be present and get rid of the distractions that do nothing but hold us back from making real progress.
- Just showing up already gets you ahead: You’ll often find a million excuses as to why you can’t or shouldn’t do X, Y or Z. But showing up and getting it done always feels rewarding.
- Practice makes perfect: Just keep at it. You won’t be perfect the first time, but hardly anyone ever is. Learning, crafting, and practicing will always yield better results.
- When all else fails, close your eyes, take a deep breath, and lift your hands in prayer. Yep. Works every time.
This post was inspired by my daily online yoga practice with Adriene. If you’re a beginner and want to learn yoga, or if you’re an expert and want to practice at home, I highly recommend subscribing to Adriene’s YouTube channel, Yoga with Adriene, and giving yourself a few minutes a day. She has made an incredible difference in my daily exercise, taking what I thought I knew about yoga to a truly relatable level. New episodes are up every Wednesday.
P.S. That’s Romeo, my pom, on his favorite spot on my yoga mat. 🙂